Negotiations between EU and Eastern Partnership countries were equal dialogue: Azerbaijan's ambassador to Belgium

Politics Materials 5 June 2009 20:15 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 5 / Trend , E.Ostapenko / Discussions on Eastern Partnership, which took place in Brussels on June 5, became the first multilateral negotiations between the EU and program participants, which focused on the issues of mutual interest, said the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Belgium Emin Eyubov.

"Discussions take place on an equal base. An equal dialogue is held on the issues of mutual interest," the Ambassador told Trend from Brussels on June 5.

The Eastern Partnership developed by the European Union at the initiative of Poland and Sweden and officially running at the EU summit in May in Prague includes Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia. Eastern Partnership envisages a strong partnership with the EU in economic and political spheres.

Cooperation with Eastern Partnership focuses on four platforms. Every week one of them will be discussed in Brussels at the joint meetings of the EU with the program participants, the Ambassador said.

The topic of discussion today was the first platform, called "Democracy, effective governance and stability."

"At today's meeting we discussed and approved the general provisions and procedural rules for all platforms," said the Ambassador.

He said that it is possible to point out three main issues upon today's platform: democracy and human rights; justice, freedom and security; internal security, illegal migration, cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

The next week discussions will be held on the platform "Contacts between people", later the platform "Energy Security", and on June 26, discussions are due on platform "Economic integration and compliance with EU policy", he said.

The delegations were represented at the level of ambassador, said Eyubov. The meeting was chaired by the European Commission. Today's and all next meetings will involve experts from Baku.

Each platform envisages establishment of working groups, they will be referred to as panels, said Eyubov. Within this panel, will be discussed concrete projects and directions. The Ambassador said that this may be the exchange of experiences, best practices of the European Union, seminars on electoral standards, legislation on mass media, combating corruption, state governance, public sector reform. The work of experts on various panels will begin presumably in the autumn.

Also there are plans to discuss the liberalization of visa regime between the EU and Eastern Partnership member countries. One of the main conditions that the issue of liberalizing the visa regime moves forward is an agreement on readmission, the Ambassador said, adding that it is planned to discuss this issue with the European counterparts.

The issue of facilitating the visa regime between the EU and the Eastern Partnership participants has not been mixed, said Eyubov.

"The European Commission is ready to go far in the issue of facilitating the visa regime. The long-term goal is to discuss the possibility of visa-free regime," he said.

However, according to the ambassador, each EU member country has its own approach to this issue. For example, Holland, Germany, Portugal prefer to resolve this issue bilaterally," he said.

No documents will be signed as a result of discussions on each platform, which will be held in the next weeks, said Eyubov. According to him, this is just "the first indications" on the basis of which the EC will prepare concrete projects.

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